Royal Brompton Heart Division: Day case unit open for business

Healthcare assistant Anna Krawczyk and a patient in the Squire Centre waiting areaInvasive cardiology services are more efficient and patient-friendly than ever before, thanks to an increase in the number of patients being treated as day cases. 

Royal Brompton’s Squire Centre opened in March 2018 and offers patients the chance to come in to hospital on the day of an invasive procedure (such as angioplasty) rather than stay the night before. 

The centre combines a pre-assessment clinic with a day case unit. Patients have their pre-assessment appointment with a nurse practitioner two weeks before their procedure, to see if they are suitable for a same-day admission.

Suitable patients then arrive at the unit on the day of their procedure before being taken to the in-house cath lab, then recover in a dedicated area with trolleys and lounge chairs.

Almost two-thirds of patients seen in the unit have been able to go home the same day, eliminating the need for any overnight stay at all. More than 90 per cent of patient feedback so far has been positive.

Annette Sprules, cardiology service improvement manager, explained the benefits: “Patients have lives, families and jobs, and most prefer not to have a prolonged hospital stay. This unit gives us the option to treat suitable patients as day cases, which is more convenient for them.

“It also brings a number of small but important changes to the experience of coming to hospital – from being able to keep your own clothes on throughout your visit, to being able to relax in the lounge and watch TV while waiting for your lift home.”

The new centre comprises a reception and waiting area, clinic rooms, cath lab and MRI, large recovery area and patient lounge.

The refurbishment, which cost nearly half a million pounds, was part-funded by the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, including a significant donation from Geoff and Fiona Squire, after whom the centre is named.

Charity chief executive Gill Raikes said: “One of the key reasons our donors support this Trust is because of the many innovative things it is doing to improve patient care, and the initiatives that make up the Darwin programme are fine examples of this.

“We’re delighted to have been able to help the Trust’s teams expand their day case facilities at Royal Brompton, as this will help them see more patients, and ultimately to save more lives.”

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